Cochrane is expected to grow significantly, making an interchange the best option to accommodate travel in this area well into the future.
The intersection at Highway 1A and Highway 22 sees an average of more than 27,000 vehicles a day. These numbers are also expected to increase significantly over the coming years.
The project is estimated to cost between $65 million to $75 million and will include:
- expanding Highway 1A to 4 lanes (2 lanes in each direction) from east of Big Hill Creek to west of Highway 22
- eliminating the existing Highway 1A traffic signal on Highway 22
- 2 new bridges over Big Hill Creek with removal of the existing bridge
- replacing the Highway 22 Canadian Pacific Railway overpass to accommodate the new interchange ramps
- a new overpass to carry Highway 22 over Highway 1A
- new interchange ramps to connect the 2 highways
See the Cochrane Interchange project plan (PDF, 3.1 MB)
The interchange will be based on a partial cloverleaf design to make best use of the area’s geography, while also accommodating future upgrades. This approach will help ensure the interchange can effectively accommodate:
- population changes in the area
- traffic growth
- transportation corridor use
The partial cloverleaf design will meet growing traffic volumes now and in the future and provide more efficient traffic flows in the Town of Cochrane and the surrounding area, while minimizing the footprint of the interchange and cost of overpass structures.
Several considerations were addressed in determining the configuration of this interchange:
- accommodating proximity of the highways to the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks
- limiting impacts upon adjacent lands (Cochrane Ranche, the Cochrane and District Agricultural Society site, and historical and environmental considerations)
- limiting impacts to Big Hill Creek
- accommodating existing and future major oil and gas pipelines
- accommodating existing and projected future traffic volumes
- minimizing noise and visual impacts to adjacent homes and businesses.
An environmental evaluation will be completed to determine the best way to minimize and address potential impacts near Big Hill Creek and Cochrane Ranche.
The current concept was developed based on previous environmental impact studies completed for highway twinning designs. All required environmental permits and approvals will be in place before construction starts.
A traffic noise study based on future traffic volumes will be completed during the interchange design process. Results will be posted online.
The interchange will be designed to accommodate pedestrian use. Details will be available as design proceeds.
Design is expected to be completed once requirements for utility relocation, right of way and environmental components are finalized.
At this time all projects are undergoing a provincial review pending release of the provincial budget.
This project will support economic development in Alberta by improving access to this area, allowing efficient movement of goods and people, in particular larger truck traffic, through Cochrane to access Highway 1 to the south and the Highway 22 corridor to the north. The new interchange will also:
- expand the capacity of both highways
- enhance safety
- accommodate future growth
For more information on the Cochrane interchange, contact Alberta Transportation’s Southern Region Office:
Southern Region Office
3rd Floor, Administration Building
909 3 Avenue North
Lethbridge, Alberta T1H 0H5
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